Thimbleberry Frozen Custard

Thimbleberry Frozen Custard

StreuselYou might recall that Strudel and I were very grateful last month to be able to attend the 2019 IFBC in Juneau Alaska!  I came away totally enamored with Juneau!  While at the opening reception of the IFBC, I met Vivian, a native to Alaska, a member of the Tlingit, a Raven from the T’akdeintaan Clan.

In talking with Vivian she helped me identify many of the plants (via my cell phone pictures) I had taken pictures of while on a hike earlier that day.

Alaska Flora

Left, Bunchberry; Upper Right, Bog Laurel; Lower Right, Starry Cassiope


Check out this giant skunk cabbage (that’s my shoe to the left)!

Skunk Cabbage

Not only did I enjoy her knowledge of the local flora and medicinal uses, but I was even more interested to learn that she had a shop in Juneau called Planet Alaska.  Here, Vivian and her partner, sell local art, jewelry and food.  She told me that she had just finished harvesting thimbleberries and had a fresh batch of Thimbleberry Jam available in their shop.  I made it a top priority to get a jar of the jam before leaving Juneau!

Thimbleberry Jam

Upon returning home I was conflicted with how to best use this limited and therefore precious amount of jam.  I didn’t want to just slather it on bread.  I wanted to showcase it for all of you in a post.  When Strudel and I committed to ice cream this month (it was a difficult topic to commit too) I knew how best to show off this jam.  This post has a two-fold purpose because I have never made frozen custard.  Hence this simple yet rich and flavorful summertime treat easily came together.  The base came from a King Arthur recipe although I used duck egg yolks because, well, I could!  The crunchiness of the thimbleberry seeds (think raspberry-like) gives the thick custard a nice texture.

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Thimbleberry Frozen Custard

  • Author: Streusel


1/2 c. half and half

1 1/2 c. 2% milk

3/4 c. sugar

1/4 t. salt

1/2 t. vanilla

4 duck egg yolks (6 egg yolks if using chicken eggs)

2 T. thimbleberry jam


  1. Prep a large bowl half filled with ice and place a slightly smaller bowl inside with a strainer set inside this smaller bowl.  Set aside.
  2. Combine the half and half and milk together and then pour 1 1/2 c. of this mixture into a medium saucepan along with the sugar, vanilla and salt.
  3. Simmer until the sugar has dissolved and remove from the heat.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 c. of dairy mixture with the 4 egg yolks, whisk together. Whisk in half of the hot sugar dairy mixture, working quickly, and then pour the entire yolk mixture back into the saucepan and place back on the stove on medium heat.
  5. Constantly whisk the entire mixture on medium heat until slightly thickened.  This took about 10 minutes.  It’s ready when you dip a metal spoon in the cooking custard, let it drip off and then wipe your finger along the back. The custard should not fill the space that was wiped away.
  6. Pour the cooked custard through the strainer into the chilled bowl.
  7. Let it cool completely, then place plastic wrap directly on the custard and refrigerate until cold, preferably overnight.
  8. Place the cold custard into an ice cream maker and churn for about 15 minutes or until firm (think soft serve).  Toss in the 2 T. of thimbleberry jam and churn just until mixed.
  9. Place the custard in a freezer safe container and freeze until solid (about an hour).
  10. This makes about 3 cups of frozen custard.
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